More Than an Afterthought | The Stories of 7 Chibok Girls

It’s been 1331 days since the Chibok school girls were kidnapped.

1331 days ago, 276 school girls, on the precipice of going onto higher education, were kidnapped, stolen instead of supplies (source).

But for all this, these young women– 113 freed, and 163 still within Boko Haram’s clutches– are more than numbers. They are more than percentages, more than statistics, and more than a headline in a news story. They can be these things (being quote more than numbersaware of the numbers and statistics and news stories is not wrong), but they are more than these things.

Think of all of the numbers, all of the statistics, you are apart of. Perhaps an illness makes you a statistic. Or a job, or an interest, or a life experience. Even just who you are can label you, and make you a number to be calculated.

But to Jesus, you are more than a number. You are more than an afterthought. To Jesus, you– and each and every one of these kidnapped girls– are deeply and perfectly Loved.

I deeply believe that these wonderful girls’ stories deserve to be told– making them more than just a number, and celebrating their lives as a testament to Jesus’ Love and creativity in making them. While one cannot relay the stories of each and every one of these girls, I have strived to learn what I can about some of these different girls, sharing just a little bit of their story here with you as a resource for prayer.



 

lydia final 1Lydia Pogu: Lydia is also one of the Chibok girls who were able to become free, by jumping from a moving vehicle of Boko Haram’s soon after she was kidnapped. After running away from Boko Haram, Lydia was reached out to by the Jubilee Campaign centered in Virginia, which connected them to Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia, in 2014. Lydia later attended Canyonville Christian Academy in 2016, where the US Government covered her full tuition to the private Christian academy (source). She planned to go to Southeastern University in Florida this past fall; I assume that is where she currently is. Lydia was able to meet US President Donald Trump on June 27th, 2017, along with her friend and fellow “Chibok girl,” Joy Bishara. You can see the picture, here. According to People Magazine, Lydia would like to become a lawyer, to help those who have no voice (source).

Sa'aSa’a: Sa’a (a pseudonym she uses for her safety) spoke to NPR almost a year ago about her story, how she got free, and what she is doing now. Now most likely 21 years old, Sa’a jumped from another moving vehicle of Boko Haram’s, along with her friend. After both her and her friend got help from a nearby shepherd, they were taken back to their families. US Congressman Christ Smith came to Nigeria to learn about what happened; after hearing Sa’a’s friend’s story, Smith told Sa’a’s friend that she should come to America to study, because she was not safe to study in the area where she currently was. Sa’a’s friend did not want to study abroad without her; and while Sa’a was terrified of going back to school at first, she decided to go with her friend, after being encouraged to study in the USA. She had planned to start college in January of 2017, and I assume that is where she is at, now. She told NPR that she wants to study medicine.

lugwaLugwa Sanda: Lugwa Sanda was one of the 21 girls who were initially freed in a high-up negotiation, that took place in October of 2016. She was brought by the Nigerian government to the Women Development Center, by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, to be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society. When told that she, and others, were going to go to Abti Academy– a school close to where Boko Haram has recently staged attacks– Lugwa protested by trying to take her own life. She drank a huge amount of a household chemical named Jik during the night. Although she suffered damage to her bodily organs, Lugwa is still alive, and was taken to the hospital belonging to the Deparment of Security Services in Abuja, Nigeria (source). Upon researching how she is doing now, I have yet to find anything. If any details emerge, I will try to keep you updated.

rebeccaRebecca Mallum: Rebecca Mallum is one of the 21 Chibok girls who were freed on October 13th, 2016. Rebecca, a Christian young woman, was/is also apart of the same rehabilitation/re-integration program that Lugwa is currently apart of. Last Christmas, Rebecca Mallum was able to see her loved ones, and told CNN that she feels both “beautiful and grateful” for being able to be free, and for being able to see her family, once again (source).

debbie 2Debbie: Although her last name has not been made public, Debbie was one of the 57 Chibok girls who ran away from Boko Haram early on in the Chibok school girls’ kidnapping. After becoming free, Debbie was sponsored by a charity program in Nigeria to go to a prestigious, American International high school in Washington D.C. She went with her friend and fellow Chibok girl, who goes by the name of Grace. Debbie spent her junior and senior years of high school there, and Debbie graduated from her prestigious international high school in the summer of 2017.

graceGrace: Grace was also one of the 57 Chibok school girls who fled from their captors soon after their kidnapping. Along with Debbie, Grace attended a prestigious, American International high school in Washington, D.C. for her junior and senior (11th and 12th grade) years. She graduated from this high school in the summer of 2017, as well, and gained recognition for being “The Most Hardworking Student” in her English as a Second Language Class, Reading Level 3 (source).

joyJoy Bishara: Much like Lydia Pogu, Joy Bishara also fled Boko Haram by jumping off of a moving vehicle. She was also able to go to school in the US with Lydia, through help from the Jubilee Campaign. She attended both a school in Grundy, Virginia, as well as a Canyonville Christian Academy in 2016, from which she graduated high school. She is now going to Southeastern University to study for becoming a doctor. “What I want to do is save lives,” she told People Magazine, here.



Luke 1:49 says, “for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.”

“for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.”
(Luke 1:49, NIV)

Researching each of these amazing young women’s stories filled me with awe, wonder, and tears of both joy and pain for them. My heart wrenches for young women like Lugwa Sanda, who are still reeling in deep fear and PTSD from their past experience with Boko Haram, wanting never to re-live that horrific tragedy, again. While there is no doubt that each of these young women have a lot of healing ahead of them, it has been absolutely crazy to me that Jesus has sustained them to live another day, even after all that has happened to them. It encourages me to pray for them– and to see the ways Jesus is restoring me and moving in my own life. I pray it has done the same for you.

Please continue praying for these young women, and please pray for the 269 other Chibok girls whose stories I have yet to know and tell here, on this blog. After all, “Our God is an awesome God,” and He can, most certainly, do anything.



Do you know Jesus?

You are not an afterthought to Jesus. In fact, you were the reason He came down to earth.

Christ knows your story. I’d even venture to say He knows it better than you do. Christ did not just die for the whole of humanity; He died for you, personally.
Whether you know Him personally right now or not, His Perfect Love for you remains the same, and He longs to have a relationship with you that is both close and personal, a relationship that brings Him Glory, and you wholeness.

Jesus Loves you perfectly, deeply, and uniquely– and He proved it on the cross. Learn more about what Jesus did– and how much He Loves you– here.



Please pray for…

  • Debbie. Please pray for the season of life she is in right now; that she would make Jesus her Lord and Savior, and follow Him where He leads her. Pray she would experience Jesus’ Love and Healing in her, and her family’s, lives.
  • Grace (the girl spoken about in this post). Please pray that she would draw near to Jesus, and would let Him heal the places within her and her family’s hearts, minds, and souls that are seemingly irreparably broken.
  • Lydia Pogu. Please pray that she would know Jesus, and that He would light her heart on fire for loving those around her, by sharing the Gospel. Pray for blessings in her studies, and for wholeness for her and her family.
  • Joy Bishara. Please pray that she, too, would follow Jesus, and that He would use her to save the lives of many others, as she has said she desires. Please pray for her studies at Southeastern University, and that Jesus would help her and her family through any problems she is experiencing.
  • Lugwa Sanda. After trying to take her own life, please pray for Lugwa Sanda’s healing and wholeness– mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Pray that Jesus would conquer the darkness and demons trying to pull Lugwa down, and that He would use her mightily for His Kingdom. Pray she and her family would be blessed with Love, Courage, and Support from those around her, as she continues to heal and recover.
  • Rebecca Mallum. Please pray that she continues to heal, and is able to continue to see and be with her family and loved ones. May Jesus bless this beautiful young lady, inside and out!
  • Sa’a. That Sa’a would come to know Jesus, and that her dreams of helping others by studying medicine would be able to be fulfilled, if He wills for that to happen. Please pray for her  and her family’s own healing, as well.
  • For the rest of the Chibok girls, in all. Pray that those in captivity would be free, soon; and that those free would find the freedom, healing, and courage to share their own stories, as these seven girls have.

May these girls never stop dreaming.
Thank you for your prayers!!!

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Thankful For You

Friends,
When I started this blog, over 3 years ago, I never would have imagined the journey Jesus would take me on.

I also wouldn’t have imagined the beautiful people I have met along the way. You all know who you are. 🙂

I just wanted to say a quick, but honest “Thank You,” and I wanted to sit and really thank Jesus for each and every person He has blessed me with– including the 276 Chibok girls who were, and still are, the reason for this blog in the first place.

3 years ago, Jesus simply led me to all of this, through a community of women praying for each other (you can read more about that story, here). Jesus opened my eyes to a group of women in Northern Nigeria who were in the spotlight at that time, known as “the Chibok girls.” Though I have never met these young women, they have become an amazing part of my life; Jesus has given me a Love for them that I could not have ever gained on my own.

And you. Through your constant support, comments, and prayers, mountains have moved. Chains have been broken. Eyes and hearts have been opened, including mine. And I can honestly say that I am BEYOND blessed to know each and every one of the people who read this blog, and who pray for everything spoken of, as much as one can.

So, Jesus, Thank You.
And Friends, Thank you!

Let’s storm the heavens to see what Jesus wants to do next in freeing, healing, and restoring these young women, their families, and other victims back to life through a relationship with Himself!
Here’s to all Jesus is going to do– and has already done. ❤

 

Thank you, friends, for your continued support and prayer!!! It is moving mountains, and bringing me wonderful encouragement, joy, and comfort.

 

I love you all!

“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
(Psalm 126:3, NIV)

With Love, in Christ,

Annalee Hoover
ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY


Do you know Jesus?

Let’s thank Jesus, most of all, for us even being able to actually know Him.
If you do not currently know Jesus personally, as Your Lord and Savior, I invite you to learn more about, and meet Him, here.

A New “Chibok Schoolgirls” Supherhero: The Power of Story

On September 6th, 2017, it was reported in an article by All Africa that Marvel created a new superhero. What makes this superhero so special? The female superhero is inspired by the Chibok girls!

Her name is Ngozi, and the comic she will be starring in as the first superhero in a real-life African country (Nigeria) will be called “Blessing In Disguise.” Her creator, a Nigerian-American bestselling writer named Nnedi Okorafor, stated that “it was an important decision” that she based the superhero on the Chibok girls. According to All Africa, Okorafor said, “They [the Chibok girls] were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives… and their story of perseverance is so powerful” (All Africa, “[Chibok girls]” mine).

Indeed, it is. To this date, 106 of the Chibok girls have either escaped or been rescued by the Nigerian government; 113 still remain. The story of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped sparked international outrage, and an outpouring of protest and prayer.

Now, almost three and a half years later, details about the freed Chibok girls’ experiences in bondage are coming out. One of the perhaps most shocking details is that the Chibok school girls kept diaries, that they passed around to each other to complete, in which they claim that their kidnapping was actually just a failed robbery. In these journals, stories of beatings, Koranic lessons, near-death experiences, and rampant abuse were told “in passable English and less-coherent Hausa,” according to Reuters. Though incredibly dark events transpired, the girls gave nicknames to their captors, keeping their spirits high.

Thinking about and praying for the Chibok girls, we are blessed beyond words to be seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises to free and restore these young women– and are amazed at how Jesus has, so compassionately, finally given the public world insight into what these girls went through.

This news– the news about the comic, and about the girls’ journals– highlights the beauty, and necessity, of telling our stories. It reminds one of those who went off and told their stories after Jesus had healed them– or of Nehemiah, in the Bible, and his chronicling of how God called him to restore the gates of Israel.

It is no secret that the Bible tells the stories of people; but only a few books of the Bible are told autobiographically, or as a memoir. At the start of the book, we find Nehemiah, a Cupbearer to the King of Persia, hearing about the destruction of Jerusalem’s gates, walls, and truly, people (Nehemiah 1). Nehemiah is so moved to sorrow over this news that he cries, fasts, and prays to God for days. After four months of being in prayer to God about what to do next, Nehemiah is able to speak with the King of Persia about his distress over Jerusalem and it’s walls– and, by the grace of God, is given permission to travel down to Jersualem. He is not only given permission to go down to Jerusalem to do this thing– he is given the letters from the King that are needed to supply him with resources, and the permission to pass through foreign countries to get to Judah!

As inspired and led by the Holy Spirit, Nehemiah told his story of how God used him to rebuild the walls– and restore Judah’s people (read the book of Nehemiah online to see just how.). More than this, the Holy Spirit gave the readers of this Old Testament book a biblical account of God’s love for Israel, passion for restoration, and complete faithfulness.

While the stories we tell of our own lives are not Holy Scripture by any means, they too can be testaments of Jesus’ work and movement in our lives… of how what once was dead can be made alive, and the beautiful lessons learned along the way.

As this comic is being made, and the lives of some of the Chibok girls are being restored, there are countless hundreds– maybe even thousands– in Northern Nigeria who still have no voice. Held captive by Boko Haram– and then, when physically free, held captive by the PTSD and trauma they have experienced– still have little to no voice to express the pain they have gone through. Children, even babies, continue to be used as bombs for Boko Haram; and women continue to escape captivity, only to find that they are pregnant with their captor’s child. Little boys are made into child soldiers; little girls are “married off,” suffering horrific sexual abuse. Even the freed Chibok girls are struggling with finding their voice; so much so that they are trying to kill themselves to protest what their words are afraid to convey.

BringBackOurGirls

 

They continue to be oppressed.
They continue to be silenced.

Friends, this is why this blog exists. To give voice to those in this insurgency who have no voice. Until they are able to tell their own stories, this blog will continue to tell them– with the prayer to Jesus that the stories and lives of these people intersect with His Story, the grandest story of them all: the Gospel.

The power of telling our own life stories– of how they intersect with Jesus and His transforming work in our lives– is great.

So, friends, as we read the Chibok girls’ stories as they spring up like flowers in the springtime, let us not forget to continue to tell the stories of those with no voice. For many, it is the difference between action and inaction— even life and death.

Tell your own story. Tell the stories of the voiceless. May they ring out as Francis J. Crosby wrote in the praise song, “Blessed Assurance”:

“This is my story; this is my song / praising my Savior, all the day long.”

For in Him, our true story is found. ❤


Do you know Jesus?

The entire Bible, from beginning to end, speaks of one main thing: The first and second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ; and the Gospel: How Jesus died for our sins.

Perhaps you have never heard this true story, before.
Perhaps you have heard it until your ears have bled and your eyes have rolled with disdain.
Maybe you have heard it happily, but are unsure on if it is true– and what that could mean for you.

Whoever you are, and wherever you are at in life, the Gospel is the grandest, most true story ever toldbut it is not just a story. At it’s core, the reason for why this story is so powerful is that it is God’s Story for mankind.

If you know the Maker of this story, your life will change forever. But if you don’t know the Maker of this Story, it will stay just that– a story.

Meet the Maker of this Story– and realize what He has done for you, so that You can know Him, personally– here.



Pray with me…

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the greatest story ever told– Your Word. 
Thank You for wanting to not only create us, but communicate with us; thank You for making a way for us to be with You, by dying on the cross for our sin.

Dear Jesus,
We thank You for the new comic coming out, having been inspired by the Chibok girls!!! Jesus, Your Word in Zephaniah 3:15-17 says, “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.‘” Jesus, thank You for doing this very thing in our midst, as 163 Chibok girls have escaped or been rescued!!! You have done amazing things, Jesus; we are filled with Joy (Psalm 126:3). 

But, dear Jesus,
There are still many, many people still missing. We pray that You would unleash Your power in their lives; we pray, most of all, that they would know You, personally. 
Please bring the Chibok girls– and so many others– back to their homes.
Please stop this evil that is Boko Haram, that is Jihad, and that ultimately, is our sinful nature mixed with satan’s schemes. 

Please heal those who are broken and wounded. Please bring Lugwa Sanda to You, dear Jesus, and show her that You are the only One worth living for.

Please avenge the helpless and destitute. 

But until You come back, Lord Jesus, please use us to be Your Hands, Your Feet, and Your heart to this dying, sick, broken, lost world. Please use us to heal, to restore, to bring justice, and to bring voices to the voiceless.

Give us Kingdom mindsets, that hallow and glorify Your Name.

Please come soon, Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.”

How to Kill a Giant

 

Guillaime_Courtois_-_David_and_Goliath_-_Google_Art_Project

It seems to be now or never. On July 21st, Tukur Buratai, the chief of Nigeria’s Army Staff, commanded the Nigerian military to do all that it can to defeat the leader of Boko Haram, Abubukar Shekau, in forty days. According to the article, Buratai said that “The Boko Haram leader must be captured dead or alive within 40 days,” and that Major Attahiru, a general in the Nigerian military, was commanded to “employ every weapon available in his arsenal to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria” (source).

Such huge news comes in wake of the Nigerian police arresting five Boko Haram gunmen on the outskirts of the city of Kano, Nigeria. A gunfight broke out between the Nigerian soldiers and Boko Haram members, one of which was a 20-year-old from Niger. Home-made explosives were also thrown, and the islamic gunmen injured 3 policemen. The islamic gunmen have been put in jail.

Amidst all of the violence, a voice of Hope was found in one internally displaced people’s camp. Africa News reported that Nigerian musician Innocent Idibia, known as 2Face Idibia or 2Baba, visited an internally displaced people’s camp, to meet the refugees and support their cause. 2Baba stated his mission well: “I’m trying to raise more awareness so that many people will come to donate many things and to make life easier for them. I’m going to tell Nigerians that their brothers and sisters are suffering and they need to help.”

2Baba has donated donated to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, through his “2Face Foundation” recently, and has also created a song called “Hold My Hand,” advocating for refugees (which can be heard, here).

In reality, Nigeria seems to have gone farther than it ever has before in defeating Boko Haram, breaking down physical strongholds and maintaining order and safety within Nigerian communities. Praise Jesus! In this fight to stop Boko Haram, Nigeria is facing one of it’s biggest “giants” yet: Abubakar Shekau, and the ideology that fuels him.

Killing the Giants

In a sermon heard recently, the story found in 1 Samuel 17, David and Goliath, was discussed. In the biblical account, the Philistines are coming against Israel, and tout their biggest soldier, Goliath, to fill Israel with fear.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels… Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.'”
(1 Samuel 17:4-5, 8-9, NIV)

Goliath was “six cubits and a span”– about 9 feet tall! As the Israelites looked up at this giant in their midst, and heard his taunting and challenge to them, one cannot imagine the absolute terror they felt (1 Samuel 17:11).

All of us have “Goliaths” in our lives; all of us, at one point or another, will need to face them. Everyone knows that David killed Goliath “with a sling and a stone” (1 Samuel 17:50). Where did David get such power and confidence?

Confidence in Christ

David’s war-cry toward Goliath tells it all.

David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.'”
(1 Samuel 17:45-47, NIV)

Listen to the above passage, friends. David was not fighting by Himself, or of His own accord; Christ was preparing David for this day. David knew that Goliath had gone against his God, and David had experienced victory over the predators that were out to get his sheep before (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

But Christ did not only prepare David for this day; He was with David as David faced Goliath. David did not put faith in man’s ability to defeat a giant so tall; it was through his victory over lions and bears that David realized true victory comes from the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47). From start to finish, it was not David who killed Goliath by Himself, but Yahweh, Jesus, who worked in and through David to bring Himself glory. It was closely walking with God that brought David victory over the giant that faced him, and knowing that it was God who would deliver Goliath into his hands.

Clinging to Christ, believing in who God said He is, David ran out to meet Goliath– and the rest is history.  The lesson? As we delight ourselves in the Lord, we can run out to meet any “giant” coming against us with full confidence that Christ will do what He said He would do: give us the victory.

As the Nigerian military comes against Boko Haram, and most prominently, Abubukar Shekau, may they come to, and rely upon, Christ for the victory. After all, it is found in Him alone.



Do you know Jesus?

“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
(Jeremiah 17:8, NIV)

David lived a loooong time before Jesus Christ ever came to earth; in fact, Jesus is the “Son of David,” coming approximately 26 generations after David came (Matthew 1). But Jesus was no ordinary man.

Although he was the Son of Man, Jesus was God Incarnate: God in human flesh. And, like David saved the Israelites, saved all those who believe on Him by killing the “ultimate giant”: the law of sin and death.

Jesus was brave; He created the Only Way to have a personal relationship with God, saving those who believe on Him from eternal separation from the Father. Those who trust in Him are like those spoken about in Jeremiah 17:8. Meet this God-in-Human-Flesh, the one who gave all of humanity salvation, here.


Please pray with me…

“Dear King Jesus,
Thank You for all that You have done, 
and all that You are doing to do. We thank You for the capture of 5 islamic terrorists, and we pray that, as they lie in jail, Father God, that You would help them to come to know You personally, as their Lord and Savior. 
Dear Jesus, 
Thank You for the military men and women who have stomped out Boko Haram– thank You for giving them the victory over Boko Haram. We pray now over the Nigerian police and military, dear Jesus; please protect them, and bring them to know You as their Lord and Savior, so that they may rely on You and trust in You in battle.

Dear Jesus,
We lift up those in Nigerian IDP camps, and those currently helping them. Dear Jesus, please bring an end to Boko Haram, and provide these internally displaced peoples with the food, water, schooling, healthcare, and safety that they need to survive, grow, and flourish. Please continue to show Your People how we can love, support, and pray for those in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria. 

Dear Jesus,
as violence seems to reign supreme in Northern Nigeria, please show Northern Nigeria that, in fact, YOU reign. We all need You, Jesus.

Dear Jesus,
We lastly thank You for each Chibok girl, and every other person who has been abducted by Boko Haram. Please free them soon, Lord Jesus!
Keep us praying for these men, women, and children, dear Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM POST: “Spin and Sway”

On May 21st, 2017, it was a joy to learn that one day earlier, the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were freed from Boko Haram captivity were able to see their parents in a reunion, according to the Premium Times newspaper. Some news articles said that the 21 Chibok girls released in October of 2017 were also able to come to the reunion, which happened in Abuja.

To commemorate this joyous occasion, Annalee Hoover, the writer and steward of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, has written a poem about the occasion, called “Spin and Sway.” Enjoy! (Click on the image to enlarge it or download it, if you cannot read it in the post. Photo used courtesy of unsplash.com.)


spin and sway copyright picture.jpg

She spins, and sways
To the music. Covered in brightly covered clothing,
She sings at the top of her lungs,
Lungs that have breathed air from horrific places
And yet, are now breathing this air.

The night she was taken,
Now not remembered–
At least, not in this moment.
She runs into his arms,
Knowing that his arms do not mean
Threat or consuming darkness,
But safety.

Safety.
A word she has not truly known
In a long while–
When surrounded by men & women
With crocodile smiles, flashing guns and ammunition
While proclaiming “peace.” Peace
As long as she did what they pleased.

That was no peace at all.
But now, she is standing tall
Moving to the rhythm of the song
And praising Christ above, Christ within
For being with her all the time.
There once was a time of darkness,
Of cruelty,
When all she could muster in a prayer was
“help me.”
There was a time where
Those all around
Called her “lost,”
Called her situation “hopeless,”
Called the image of her “desolate.”
Forgotten. Boxed in
By men who did not know her name
Nor cared about the sin and shame they inflicted upon her.
They wronged her.

Because the truth of the matter was,
Those people thought her to be expendable.
An example
Of an object dressed like a human being.
They did not see that her blood indeed ran red
Or that her tears were just as salty as theirs.
No, she was to be used for their purposes
–Unbelievable. Yet true.

What happened is not forgotten.
From the Almighty, there will
Be justice.

Like incense rising (psalm 141:2), I have a prayer,
And it is this:

That those who do evil in the dark
Would be found out by the light.
That their hands, blood-red,
Would not be so caustically washed,
But that their sins
Would draw them to the pit–
A place of real repentance.

My prayer is this:
That every single girl
That every single boy
Included and not included
In this mess labeled “the chibok kidnapping”
Would be able to exchange black clothing and hijabs
For colorful clothing, too.
Made Free.

This is my prayer:

That each of the 113 young women
Still waiting to run
Into the arms of their loved ones
Would, soon,

Chasing their haunting memories
Into the night wilderness
Where they belong.

Some are still not home.
But let’s not give up hope.

Because she is not
“Desolate” anymore.
Her first name is not
“Hopeless,”
Her nickname not “Lost.”
No. As evidenced by the jewelry on her necklace—a cross—
She has been rescued,
Freed,
Redeemed!

So, Lord Jesus,
Please walk with her every step of this way.
Every step of her swaying,
Every step of her dancing.

And every step
That seems too hard to take.

May her smile be like the moon,
Reflecting light from the S(o)n,
And may every step
She takes in your presence
(That is, EVERY step she takes),
Lead her straight to Your heart–
A true reason for
Singing,
Swaying,
And dancing, indeed.


Do you know Jesus?

“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
(Psalm 145:9, NIV)

It is no secret that God is good. Whether you believe in Him or not, the fact that You are in existence right now, breathing in air that You did not create, confirms the fact of God’s goodness.

But what about Jesus? Who is He, and what makes Him so good? John 3:16 spells out Jesus’ Love for us, beautifully. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus was that one and only Son– not just given by the Father to the world, but “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Because of this, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11, NIV).

This Jesus was the perfect man; not only is He the perfect man, but He is God the Son: God in Human Flesh! Jesus willingly came to die for the sins of the world, so that everyone who takes in what He did would be saved.

Want to know more about Jesus? Meet Him by clicking here, on our “Do You Know Jesus” page.



Please pray for…

Those who are not yet saved. Please pray for those in your life, and all around the world, who do not yet know Jesus! May He use you, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, and every other means He chooses to bring people’s hearts to Himself!

Those who are freed! Please pray that Jesus would continue to heal these “Chibok girls,” now “Chibok young women,” who have been freed, and are undergoing counseling for their traumatic experiences.

For the Chibok girls not yet free. Please pray that Jesus would open up the doors for them to become free, soon.

The Nigerian military. Apparently, a coup may be starting within the Nigerian military against the government. They are in desperate need of supplies, training, and morale. Please pray that these men and women would come to know Christ, and would trust in Him as they continue to suffer– and that the suffering would stop, soon.

Thank you for your prayers!!! Let’s continue to celebrate the freed Chibok girls, and pray for those who are not yet free!

The Weight of Sin: Refusing to Be Free

 Letter from the writer: “The Process of Healing” and this post were meant to be one post, but upon writing the post, I was led to create two separate, smaller posts with similarities, yet with two different themes. If they seem to read the same, that is why. 🙂


On May 13th, email messages came into the inbox of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY with shocking, yet unbelievably true, news: there are, indeed, at least four young women who do not want to leave Boko Haram captivity.

In this video, shared by Bring Back Our Girls and reported by SaharaTV, four of the reported Chibok schoolgirls, including one young woman named Maida Yakubu, explains that she does not want to leave Boko Haram captivity because “they [her parents] live in a town of unbelief,” and that she wants them to “accept Islam” (source). She says all of this while covered in a black hijab, holding a large gun.

There is chance that these are not Chibok schoolgirls; or that they are being made to say such things. But, if it is true, this news is crushing—especially for the parents of these young women, who have cried out to Christ for their safe release/return. To learn that their  daughters do not even want to be free, and do not even want to see them, must be a shattering blow to their hearts.

BOUND AND BLIND

While these young girls did nothing sinful to be kidnapped and taken into captivity, this idea of young women refusing freedom and home reminds one of sin—and of the bonding, blinding effect it has on our lives, as it did in the life of Samson.

The biblical account of Samson can be found in the book of Judges. Samson was a man who had every bit of potential: He was born a Nazirite, which is a person who is dedicated to the LORD and does not cut their hair, drink wine or fermented drinks, nor do they touch anything unclean. Set apart to the LORD, Samson’s uncut hair made him a strong man—a man who frequently had the Spirit of the LORD fall upon him in power (Judges 13, 14:6).

Yet, for all of the potential Samson had, he wasted his life on sin—from getting even with those who wronged him by striking down thirty men (Judges 14:19-20), to lighting an entire community’s produce on fire in anger (Judges 15:3-5), Samson used the strength and potential Christ gave him in ways that were far from God-honoring.

One of the most volatile sins in his life, though, was his promiscuity and life-long sexual sin (Judges 16:1-3). In his infatuation with Delilah the Philistine (the Philistines were one of Israel’s greatest enemies), Samson told her the secret: that it was his hair that caused his strength (Judges 16:4-17). Delilah sold him out to the Philistines; they cut his hair, plucked out his eyes, and bound in chains (Judges 16:18-22).

Yet, Samson’s life was not a complete waste. As his hair grew back, he regained his strength; and, in the Philistine’s celebration of Dagon, their false god, Samson pushed over pillars supporting the building they were all in (Judges 16:29-30). “Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30b). Killing the Philistines’ leaders and many more, Israel won a victory over the Philistines. Still, this painful life shows that the enemy indeed means to kill, steal, and destroy through sin, which binds one—and usually blinds one to the fact that they are bound.

Again, these four young women have done NOTHING wrong to be in the captivity they are in at the moment. But the fact that they have been so brainwashed as to believe that they are in a good place, when they are obviously still bound, is a cause for deep sorrow, and earnest prayer. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:16-17).


Do you know Jesus?

“It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.”
(Isaiah 50:9, NIV)

The weight of sin is incredibly heavy—it produces death, physically and spiritually (Romans 6:23). And while no one can escape their physical death, there is a death, the second, spiritual death that one can escape.

But how? There is no way a person can live a totally sinless life. Instead, God Himself came down to Earth, to do exactly what nobody else could do: pay the wages of sin, for those who take on the free gift of eternity.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Take on God’s eternal gift—paid by Himself, Christ Jesus—today. Read more here.


Please pray for:

– These four Chibok schoolgirls; for Maida Yakubu, who spoke in the video.

– For the remaining Chibok schoolgirls, that they would all want to be free.

– For the Nigerian government, as they continue to collaborate with the International Red Cross, and the Swiss Government, to free the remaining girls.

– For the Nigerian military, who is suffering losses, according to this article.